Office for Christian Unity,
Thursday, November 24th, 2022
‘The craft of connections’
Meeting of Pope Francis with the members of the dicastery for communication
November 12, 2022
The first task of communication should be that of making people less lonely. If it does not diminish the sensation of loneliness to which so many men and women feel condemned, then that communication is merely entertainment; it is not the craft of connections as we said earlier.
Connected to this first challenge, I would like to add another: giving a voice to the voiceless. Very often we witness communications systems that marginalise and censor what is uncomfortable and what we do not want to see. The Church, thanks to the Holy Spirit, is well aware that it is her task to stay with the least, and her natural habitat is that of the existential peripheries.
Finally, the third challenge of communication that I would like to leave you is that of educating ourselves in the toil of communicating.
Very often those who look at the Church from outside remain perplexed by the various tensions within. But those who know how the Holy Spirit acts are well aware that he loves to make communion among diversity, and to create harmony from confusion. Communion is never uniformity, but the capacity to keep very different realities together. I think we should be capable of communicating even this hardship without pretending to resolve or conceal it. Dissent is not necessarily an attitude of rupture, but it can be one of the ingredients of communion. Communication must also make diversity of views possible, while always seeking to preserve unity and truth, and fighting slander, verbal violence, personalism and fundamentalism that, under the guise of being faithful to the truth, only spread division and discord.
To be used as appropriate
1 / As part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023, the different churches of Lille will be united through liturgical song on Thursday 19th January in the chapel of the Catholic University.
Lord, through these choirs of churches gathered together in fellowship, may our joy of believing spread at a time when so much is at stake for unity and peace.
May this meeting initiate more interest to visit one another, to dialogue and to pray together.
2/ On 18 and 19 November 2022, the 4th meeting of the French-speaking Federation of Christian Media (F2MC) took place in Paris. This meeting brought together many actors of the Protestant audiovisual media as well as the Neuf.Media agency of the Chemin Neuf Community, based in Villeneuve d’Ascq. The theme of this meeting was freedom of expression. In French society, secularism is leading increasingly to the elimination of religions in the name of neutrality of the State, when on the contrary it should be a condition of unity.
Like Gad Elmaleh’s film about his conversion to Christianity or the series “The 7 Churches of the Apocalypse” or the ZeWatchers Foundation which supports Christian media, we pray for producers, directors and distributors who dare to proclaim your name in the media.
3/ In the field of media, Catholics and Protestants often appear divided, through distinct initiatives, without much link between them: media federations, radios, televisions, and even book festivals…
We pray for SIGNIS (World Catholic Association for Communication), for CEVMA (European Christian Media Association). May your Holy Spirit bring about unity in our Churches for greater impact in the spreading of the Good News through the media (TV, press, radio).
4/ The Net for God network is currently working on its transformation to better respond to its vocation as an invisible monastery to pray for peace and unity, particularly through films.
We pray that the next film to be released in December, entitled “Melodies of Peace”, which looks at art for reconciliation in the Great Lakes region of Africa, will encourage dialogue, forgiveness and peace after several bouts of war.